29 episodes

Welcome to your mortality, humans! Death in the Afternoon dispels myths about death and dead bodies, dives into history and dark tales you've never heard before, and features conversations with people working to change the future of death care, Hosted by Caitlin Doughty, Louise Hung, and Sarah Chavez.

Death in the Afternoon The Order of the Good Death

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 1.6K Ratings

Welcome to your mortality, humans! Death in the Afternoon dispels myths about death and dead bodies, dives into history and dark tales you've never heard before, and features conversations with people working to change the future of death care, Hosted by Caitlin Doughty, Louise Hung, and Sarah Chavez.

    INTERVIEW: Uncovering Pet Death's Greatest Mystery

    INTERVIEW: Uncovering Pet Death's Greatest Mystery

    The author of history's most influential piece of animal mourning literature had been lost...until now. Learn the incredible true story behind The Rainbow Bridge. 
    Episode Guest
    Paul Koudounaris is a  founding member of The Order of the Good Death. He has a PhD in Art History and has written three books about the use of skeletal remains in sacred spaces, Empire of Death, Heavenly Bodies, and Memento Mori. When he’s not hunting skeletons he moonlights as a cat historian, and his book co-authored by his tabby cat Baba, A Cat’s Tale: A Journey Through Feline History, was a 2020 Barnes and Noble Book of the Year.
    Episode Resources
    The Rainbow Bridge: The True Story Behind History’s Most Influential Piece of Animal Mourning Literature  
    Episode Credits
    Hosted by Caitlin Doughty 
    Guest Paul Koudounaris 
    Produced by the Order of the Good Death, Sarah Chavez 
    Edited by Alex de Freitas
    Music by Kissed Her Little Sister
    Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng
    The Order of the Good Death (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com) Is supported by listeners like you! Support the Order by becoming a member (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/donate?)
     

    • 35 min
    INTERVIEW: The Doulas Taking on California's Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

    INTERVIEW: The Doulas Taking on California's Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

    A court case in California could force death doulas to become licensed funeral directors. We talk to the doula and the lawyer taking on California's Funeral and Cemetery Bureau. 
    Episode Guests
    Akhila Murphy is one of the original co-founders of Full Circle of Living and Dying, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Grass Valley, CA.  She is a trained End-of-Life Doula and After-Death care educator. Currently she serves on the board of directors for Full Circle of Living and Dying as Founding Director and Co-Chair President. 
    Ben Field is an attorney at the Institute for Justice, a national nonprofit public interest law firm that fights to secure the constitutional rights of all Americans against abuses of government power. A major part of Ben’s practice is protecting the First Amendment rights of people to speak freely in their occupations and without fear of government retaliation. He is counsel to the plaintiffs in Full Circle of Living and Dying v. Sanchez, a landmark case challenging the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau’s restrictions on the rights of end-of-life doulas to provide advice and guidance to families about end-of-life care.
    Episode Resources
    Defending Your Right to a Good Death
    Full Circle of Living and Dying
    Home Funerals 
    Institute for Justice  
     
    Episode Credits
    Hosted by Caitlin Doughty 
    Guests Akhila Murphy and Ben Field
    Produced by the Order of the Good Death,
    Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan
    Edited by Alex de Freitas
    Music by Kissed Her Little Sister
    Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng
     
    The Order of the Good Death (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com) Is supported by listeners like you! Support the Order by becoming a member (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/donate?)
     

    • 41 min
    INTERVIEW: Cadaver Dog in the Cemetery

    INTERVIEW: Cadaver Dog in the Cemetery

    Go behind the scenes with Cat Warren, who works with cadaver dogs to find the missing dead and locate Black and Indigenous burial grounds. 
     
    Episode Guest
    Cat Warren is the author of the NYT bestseller What the Dog Knows, which explores how scent-detection dogs help find the missing and dead, sometimes even those missing for hundreds of years. She currently researches how best to use human remains detection dogs in archaeology and to help locate African-American burial grounds.
     
    Episode Resources
    Cat Warren’s Website
    What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren 
    What Are Cadaver Dogs Teaching Us About History? 
    Become an Order Member to access Cat’s 2022 event with us!
     
    Episode Credits
    Hosted by Caitlin Doughty 
    Guest Cat Warren
    Produced by the Order of the Good Death,
    Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan
    Edited by Alex de Freitas
    Music by Kissed Her Little Sister
    Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng
    The Order of the Good Death (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com) Is supported by listeners like you! Support the Order by becoming a member (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/donate?)
     

    • 35 min
    Legalization, TikTok, and Angry Elephants: An Immersive Year in Death

    Legalization, TikTok, and Angry Elephants: An Immersive Year in Death

    From viral trends to new options for your future corpse, Caitlin and Sarah review the best and worst of the past year in death, revealing how the death positive movement is making an impact on the way we do death. 
     
    Episode Resources
    To access The Year in Death Project, sign up to become an Order member, or make a donation of $50 or more to our nonprofit! 
     
    Episode Credits:
    Hosted by Caitlin Doughty 
    Co-Host Sarah Chavez
    Produced by the Order of the Good Death,
    Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan
    Edited by Alex de Freitas
    Music by Kissed Her Little Sister
    Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng
    The Order of the Good Death (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com) Is supported by listeners like you! Support the Order by becoming a member (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/donate?)

    • 37 min
    CLASSIC ARTICLE: Whose Green Burial Is It Anyway?

    CLASSIC ARTICLE: Whose Green Burial Is It Anyway?

    In a space of loss that is already difficult to exist in, we need to do more to understand how our language surrounding green burial can better acknowledge difficult histories and experiences. 
    Episode Resources
    This episode is an audio version of the article “Whose Green Burial Is It Anyway?” by Corinne Elicona. 
    Green Burial 101
    Locate a Green Burial Ground 
    So, You Want to Be a Tree When You Die? 
    How to Green Your Funeral 
    Episode Credits:
    Written by Corinne Elicona @CorinneElicona
    Narrated by Sarah Chavez 
    Produced by the Order of the Good Death,
    Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan
    Edited by Alex de Freitas
    Music by Kissed Her Little Sister
    Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng
    The Order of the Good Death (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com) Is supported by listeners like you! Support the Order by becoming a member (https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/donate?)

    • 20 min
    INTERVIEW: How We're Failing New Morticians

    INTERVIEW: How We're Failing New Morticians

    Mortuary schools began as embalming schools, sponsored by embalming chemical companies. Today, mortuary schools are designed to be more holistic, covering everything a new mortician may face in the industry. But what groups are being left out of this education? The last decade has brought hard discussions around serious gaps in what is taught to students and if they're ready for the reality of working in the death industry. 
    In this episode Caitlin talks with two funeral directors, Joél Maldonado and Ezra Salter to discuss race and gender in funeral education and practice. 
     
    Episode Guests
    Joél Maldonado is a funeral director, sacred end-of-life and grief care professional, and educator. Learn more on her website, The Grave Woman. 
    Ezra Salter (they/them) is a Louisiana licensed funeral director and embalmer, a board member of Wake, a New Orleans based deathcare non-profit, and co-creator of the Louisiana LGBTQ+ End of Life Planning Guide.
     
    Episode Resources
    Sandi Baker article mentioned in the episode, Why Are All the Wax Heads Caucasian? 
    Petition to Remove Racist and Discriminatory Language From Mortuary College Dress Codes and Handbooks
    Order of the Good Death, Working in Death: How Do I Become a Mortician?
    Audio excerpt from Ask a Mortician webseries, Why Are Black and White Cemeteries Still Separate? 
    Cultural Competency: Black Hair and Skin Care for Non-Ethnic Funeral Professionals 
    Louisiana LGBTQ EOL Guide 
    Trans Death Rights Are Human Rights 
     
    Episode Credits:
    Hosted by Caitlin Doughty 
    Produced by the Order of the Good Death,
    Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan
    Edited by Alex de Freitas
    Music by Kissed Her Little Sister
    Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.6K Ratings

1.6K Ratings

GriefIsGood ,

Death Positivity At Its Finest

This show is not only extremely interesting but also so, so needed in this space. The more conversations about mortality, the less of a taboo topic death will become! The hosts do a great job at welcoming in all topics of mortality while observing space for people who might be sensitive to these types of topics. Would recommend to anyone considering their own mortality or looking to learn more about death and death practices.

Emilee serene ,

The Order Of the Good Death will change your life.

I’ve spent my entire life being so terrified of death. Then a friend recommended Ask a Mortician on YouTube. I started with history based episodes, too nervous to watch the corpse/own mortality episodes. Through listening to Caitlin’s deep voice, I started to calm, and get a little more curious. This curiosity blossomed and I eventually watched as many episodes as I could find. Then this podcast. Through my curiosity, I’ve learned so much, and knowledge is the key to lessening fear. I now have a death binder that my family knows the location of, I’m vocal about death positivity. My life has changed from these women just talking about death in an open, honest, and compassionate way. Thank you to the order for helping me confront the greatest fear I’ve known.

Jalachan ,

Needful Insight and Conversation

This podcast and all of the Order of the Good Death's work is sorely needed in our death avoidant society. Episodes are well-paced and presented, and are extremely informative. Solid recommend.

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